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Anal Bioanal Chem (2012) 403:17731774 DOI 10.1007/s00216-012-5978-7

BOOKS AND SOFTWARE IN REVIEW

BOOKS AND SOFTWARE IN REVIEW

JaVed I. Khan, Thomas J. Kennedy, and Donnell R. Christian Jr.:

Basic principles of forensic chemistry

Pascal Kintz

Received: 26 March 2012 /Accepted: 26 March 2012 / Published online: 18 April 2012 # Springer-Verlag 2012

/ Published online: 18 April 2012 # Springer-Verlag 2012 Bibliography Basic principles of forensic chemistry JaVed

Bibliography Basic principles of forensic chemistry JaVed I. Khan, Thomas J. Kennedy, and Donnell R. Christian Jr. Humana Press ISBN: 978-1-934115-06-0 Hardcover; 375 pages 2012, 74.85

Book s topic This book describes how to identify drugs (some pharmaceuticals, doping agents, and recreational drugs) that are subject to abuse. Numerous chapters, written by three American specialists, cover a wide range of appli- cations, from basic colour tests to the most sophisticated mass spectrometric approaches. Such information can aid forensic chemists and forensic toxicologists in identifying unknown drugs, particularly those in seized material (e.g. tablets, powders, liquids, ampoules, mushrooms). Beside description of analytical methods, several chapters also in- clude clandestine preparation and evidence collection.

P. Kintz ( * ) X-Pertise Consulting, 84 route de Saverne, 67205 Oberhausbergen, France e-mail: pascal.kintz@wanadoo.fr

Contents This book consists of 20 chapters, with some

laboratory experiments at the end. The first part is an introduction to forensic chemistry, covering, in four chapters, the atomic structure (with suit- able remainders), the chemistry of molecules, and organic chemistry. Classification of organic compounds on the basis of their functional groups is also included.

In the second part, devoted to the tools of forensic chem-

istry, the first two chapters describe forensic language and forensic documentation. This is of particular importance to understanding the specific ity of the field. The next five chapters cover the analytical methods available for identifi- cation. Chapter 7 describes basic chemical screening, with numerous colour tests. Chapter 8 deals with microcrystal techniques. Chapter 9 covers sample-preparation techniques for both chromatography and infrared spectroscopy testing. These two methods are discussed in depth in Chapters 10 and 11. The third part consists of six chapters presented as mono- graphs for examination of a variety of compounds, includ- ing cannabis, phenethylamines (for example amphetamines, ephedra, cathinones, mescaline, and methylenedioxy deriv-

atives), tertiary amines (for example opiates, cocaine, piper- idines), tryptamines (psilocin, bufotenin), anabolic steroids, and miscellaneous controlled substances (barbiturates, fen- tanyl, GHB, LSD, and ketamine). In the last part, containing three chapters devoted to clandestine laboratory operations, synthesis of abused sub- stances is discussed, with evidence identification and col- lection, and examination of clandestine evidence.

A laboratory manual (very useful) completes the book.

Comparison with existing literature The book focuses on literature data and on applications in the field of drug iden- tification. It provides reference analytical methods that are

data and on applications in the field of drug iden- tification. It provides reference analytical methods

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suitable for immediate use in the laboratory. Although sev- eral texts are available for classic drugs of abuse, for exam- ple opiates, cannabis, or cocaine, the reader will find this new book covers drugs recently released on the streets or available via the Internet.

Critical assessment After reading the book, the general feeling is that everything was covered, including evidence collection, sample preparation, analysis, and interpretation, via the monographs. This is particularly suitable for forensic scientists working in the field of toxicology, more focused on biological samples. Numerous literature references are given, which aids documentation. The book is complete, covering the most abused compounds. Methods used to test

covering the most abused compounds. Methods used to test for these drugs are from simple procedures

for these drugs are from simple procedures (e.g. colour tests) to the most sophisticated. This book will be of interest to beginners and experienced scientists.

Readership recommendation This book can be recom- mended to laboratories in departments of criminal investi- gation, forensic and clinical toxicology, and doping control.

Summary The book Basic Principles of Forensic Chemis- try focuses on the characterization of seized material, cov- ering all the aspects, from collection of evidence to interpretation. It is a helpful resource for all scientists involved in drug identification.